The return of Lenin

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The return of Lenin – April 1917 – April theses

  • The arrival of Lenin, who was the leader of the Bolsheviks, was to change the whole course of the revolution.
  • Lenin had been in Switzerland when the March revolution took place, at first he could not get back to Russia because he would have had to cross Germany, where the Russians had been fighting.
  • The Germans had decided to help him, hoping that he would cause trouble for the Russian government.
  • They had given him money, and put him in a special sealed train, which travelled through Germany to Finland.
  • From there he made his way to Petrograd, arriving at the beginning of April.
  • The Germans had been right about Lenin causing trouble because when he arrived back he made a speech demanding that
  1. There should be no-operation with the provisional Government.
  2. the war should end immediately
  3. the land should be given to the peasants
  4. the soviets should take power
  • These points were later called April theses.
  • Lenin argues that there should be a second revolution- a socialist revolution- in which the workers should take power.
  • Many Bolsheviks were surprised, which led to some not taking him seriously.
  • The soviets Party turned Lenin’s ideas into the slogans ‘Bread, peace, land’ and ‘all power to the soviets.’ This was what the people had wanted to hear. Support for the Bolsheviks began to grow, although they were outnumbered by the soviets by other socialists.
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July Days

  • The war was the big issue that distinguished the Bolsheviks from other groups. Only they opposed the war.
  • Over the summer of 1917, the ordinary people became more opposed to the war as shortages continued.
  • The matters had come to head in July, when Kerensky had launched a major attack on the Germans.
  • This had then turned out to be a horrible mistake, which led to a terrible defeat.
  • This had sparked an enormous demonstration in Petrograd; this was then called ‘July days.’
  • On the 16 and 17 July, Soldiers, sailors and ...

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